The Austin Chronicle

Public Notice: Trash Talking

Recycling, Composting, Fashion ... and STRs

By Nick Barbaro, September 25, 2015, News

It's a busy, busy week (see "Civics 101," Sept. 25), but first, here's some trashy news:

The next phase of Austin's Universal Recycling Ordinance kicks in Oct. 1, requiring recycling programs for commercial properties 25,000 square feet and up, and multifamily properties with 10 or more units. And by Oct. 1, 2016, food service establishments 15,000 square feet or larger will be required to establish organics diversion programs – food donation or composting programs, among other options – to ensure that food goes to beneficial use and not to landfills. Starting this week, Austin Resource Recovery will host a series of free training sessions to help businesses meet city requirements. The first Commercial Recycling Training Sessions are next Wed., Sept. 30, 8:30-9:30am at Marie Callender's Arboretum, 9503 Research, and noon-1pm at Iron Cactus North, 10001 Stonelake Blvd. The sessions are free, but registration is required; RSVP and learn more at

In addition, rebates of up to $1,800 are available to qualifying businesses and properties that establish programs before deadlines or exceed minimum URO requirements; see details at

Texas Campaign for the Environment hosts the fifth annual Trash Makeover Challenge fashion show at the North Door, 501 Brushy, this Saturday, Sept. 26, starting at 7pm. It's a major fundraiser for TCE, as designers, models, and stylists from around the state compete for prize money awarded to unique looks made from at least 90% recycled and repurposed materials, in this year's theme, "Steampunk Meets Nature." Enjoy free custom cocktails, hors d'oeuvres from the Salt Lick and Barr Mansion, a silent auction, and a dance party following the show. Advance tickets only ($40-$50), on sale at

If Austin Code Department Director Carl Smart isn't already in enough hot water over his department's bumbling ways concerning short-term rental licensing and regulation, now there's this: The 2015 Code Industry Summit, which Austin Code is hosting Oct. 1-2, is a continuing education event for code officers from around the state. The conference theme* is Code Transformation Through Innovation, billed as "bringing Code Compliance and Code Enforcement officers together from across the state to create a greater awareness of industry issues and enhance best practices through education and dialogue."* But oops: One of the speakers on industry "best practices" was to have been Joel Rasmussen, president of Austin Rental Alliance, who got dinged as one of the "bad actors" in the ongoing STR controversy for running nine commercial STRs which have been operating for most of this year with expired licenses. (Rasmussen says the expirations were due to a "clerical error in code compliance.") Rasmussen was reportedly bumped from the program on Tuesday with apologies from the Code official in charge, who claimed to be unaware of his record.

* [The original version of this story referred to "Code Transformation Through Innovation" as the lead panel of the conference. It is instead the theme of this year's conference. Apologies for the error.]

National Public Lands Day is Saturday, Sept. 26, the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort for public parks, trails, and green spaces. Austin's annual NPLD event is hosted by Austin Parks Foundation and Texas Conservation Corps, who are organizing over 50 projects, including mulching, trash pickup, trail restoration, and more. Register at, and stay tuned for info on the afterparty. ... APF is also hosting a Party for the Parks starting at 5:30pm on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at Brazos Hall, 204 E. Fourth, with live music by Bruce Robison, food and drink, fun and games, and a silent auction; tickets are $100, going up to $125 on Sept. 26.

The First Waltz: An All-Star Austin Salute to the 50th Anniversary of Bob Dylan and the Band's First Concert. On Sept. 24, 1965, at the Austin Municipal Aud­itorium, Bob Dylan played his first concert in Texas, and his first show with the musicians who would come to be known as the Band. On Sunday, Sept. 27, a collaboration of local musical icons pays tribute to this historic concert, in support of SIMS Foundation, celebrating 20 years of providing low-cost mental health services to Austin musicians. The lineup includes Guy Forsyth, Carolyn Wonderland, Rosie Flores, Denny Freeman, Carson McHone, Colin Gilmore, and many, many more; for full info, see "Playback". Show starts at 6pm Sunday at Threadgill's World HQ, 301 W. Riverside.

The Shelter Art Foundation, a nonprofit that teaches pet enthusiasts to take studio-quality portraits of adoptable homeless pets, will present a free public photography workshop from 6-8:30pm Monday, Sept. 28, at the Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop. More info at

Jill Anderson presents her new book Los Otros Dreamers on Monday, Sept. 28, at the AVAYA Auditor­ium in the Peter O'Donnell Bldg., at 24th & Speed­way from 7:30-9pm, preceded by a reception from 6:30-7:30. Los Otros Dreamers interviews and profiles young Mexicans who have grown up in the U.S., but have either been deported or chose to leave the country because of the obstacles to citizenship here.

The next CodeNEXT workshop isn't until Nov. 16-21, but this Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 7-8pm at the Dough­er­ty Arts Center, the city will present "CodeUPDATE," an hour-long "sneak peek" at the November workshop's purpose and desired outcomes. CodeNEXT is the City initiative to revise the Land Development Code; more info at

Sen. Kirk Watson's Concert Under the Stars is an annual event held on the site of the ACL Festival, the night before it begins. It's in Zilker Park on Thu., Oct. 1, starting at 8pm, with music from the Peterson Brothers and the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band. General admission tickets for the fundraiser are $50, but a wide variety of reserved seating and VIP packages are available. More info at

Austin Water is offering WaterWise Rebates for landscaping and gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation. Apply by Sept. 30 for fall installations of rainscapes (features such as berms, rain gardens, and trenches that direct and retain rainwater on the property) and landscaping (native plant beds and permeable hardscapes in place of grass). See info at and /waterwise-landscape-rebate.

Austin B-cycle is looking for volunteers during the ACL Festival, Oct. 2-4 and 9-11. Get discounts on annual memberships, plus a gift bag from the event sponsors. Details at

The City's Bicycle Advisory Council is taking applications through Sept. 30 for new members to serve a two-year term advising the City of Austin, and other jurisdictions, on cycling issues. Any adult Austin resident is eligible; apply online at Elections will be held on Oct. 13 at the regular BAC meeting.

2015 TRIO for Paws Lawn Party is a benefit for Austin Humane Society, Austin Pets Alive!, and Emancipet – featuring drinks, hors d'oeuvres, live music, and a silent auction. Tickets are $75 online or at the door. Thu., Oct. 1 from 6-8pm at the Four Seasons, 98 San Jacinto.

Seton Breast Care Center kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month by hosting "Light the Town Pink: Rallying Breast Cancer Resources," a free event bringing together resources for women at all stages of their breast cancer journey – free lymphatic massages, physician and therapist presentations, exercise demonstrations, and more. Thursday, Oct. 1, 6-8pm at Seton Breast Care Center, 1201 W. 38th. Register for the free event at

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